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Pain and Dementia: How to Recognize and Intervene When Pain Is a Possibility

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
1 hour

People living with dementia have difficulty communicating their needs in a clear and understandable way as the disease progresses. In the case of pain or distress, care professionals need to provide more effective and accurate assessments to identify possible medical emergencies in persons living with dementia.

This session, led by renowned dementia care expert Teepa Snow, is designed to help professionals use preserved abilities, observable behaviors and signs, and their knowledge for what is “usual” and “normal” for an individual living with dementia to help screen for changes that should be investigated. Teepa will discuss how to distinguish changes that typically signal a worsening of dementia, an acute medical condition or emergency, medication side effects, depression, a “bad day,” and pain or discomfort that deserves attention and intervention.

During this session, Teepa will also discuss:

  • Common signs or signals persons living with dementia exhibit when something is wrong versus when they are having a “bad day”
  • Causes for acute changes in function, behavior, or alertness/distress
  • Effective techniques to report changes in behaviors to other healthcare providers unfamiliar with the person living with dementia so that appropriate interventions occur in a timely fashion

Teepa Snow

Owner & Trainer
Positive Approach to Care®

Teepa is an Occupational Therapist and a Dementia Care Education Specialist. She has over 40 years of clinical experience in the field of geriatrics and dementia care, as well as having provided care to family members and friends with dementing illnesses. Currently she operates an international training and consulting company, Positive Approach to Care®, as well as having clinical appointments with Duke University's School of Nursing & UNC-CH School of Medicine.